Update: Felicia Becomes Cat 3 Hurricane in Eastern Pacific
July 15, 2021, 7:01 AM HST
* Updated July 16, 5:33 AM
Update: 5 a.m. July 16, 2021
The small, but powerful, Felicia is now a strong category 3 Hurricane, but is still located far from Hawaii. The cyclone strengthened overnight with sustained winds of 125 mph. It is located 940 miles WSW of the southern tip of Baja California. The National Hurricane Center is forecasting a turn toward the west and slow weakening to begin late tonight and into the weekend.
Update: 11 a.m. July 15, 2021
Hurricane Felicia is now a Category 2 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 100 mph.
The National Weather Service says the system is expected to make a gradual turn to the WSW by Friday, with a westward motion expected this weekend. Additional strengthening is expected through tonight. Some slow weakening is possible by this weekend, according to the NWS.
Update: Based on 5 a.m. July 15, 2021
Tropical Storm Felicia strengthened into a hurricane last night and continues to intensify as it makes its way through the Eastern Pacific.
According to the latest forecast issued by the National Hurricane Center, the Category 1 hurricane has 90 mph maximum sustained winds. Felicia is currently located 775 miles SW of the southern tip of Baja California and was moving toward the west near 12 mph.
According to the NHC, Felicia “rapidly intensified over the past day or so, and additional strengthening is expected through early Friday,” and slow weakening is possible by this weekend.
A NOAA Forecast Discussion states that by late Friday, Felicia is forecast to move into a drier airmass which may begin to disrupt the convection, while the cyclone also begins to move over slowly decreasing sea surface temperatures, causing the system to gradually weaken over the remainder of the forecast period.
Earlier this year, NOAA predicted a near-or below-normal 2021 Central Pacific hurricane season with 2-5 Tropical Cyclones. The annual Season Outlook, calls for an 80% chance of a near- or below-normal season. Agency officials say this is a prediction, NOT a forecast of hurricane landfalls. A near-normal season has 4 or 5 tropical cyclones.
For the Central North Pacific, between 140W and 180W, there are no tropical cyclones expected over the next five days.